Hyundai Motors UK has taken delivery of its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and claims to be the first car manufacturer to supply these zero-emission vehicles to paying customers in the UK.

The arrival of ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles comes just days after business minister Matthew Hancock announced £11m of UK government and industry funding to establish an initial network of hydrogen refuelling stations by the end of 2015.

Tony Whitehorn, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, commented: “Making the first UK customer deliveries of hydrogen-powered cars is a huge landmark for the industry. Hyundai is the first company in the world to start series-production of a fuel cell vehicle and is committed to rolling-out this technology in line with government plans to grow the refuelling infrastructure.”

Transport for London is one of the first companies to use the vehicles and the Deputy Mayor of London for business and enterprise, Kit Malthouse, said: “I firmly believe that hydrogen fuel cell technology will eventually replace the internal combustion engine but we have to show the public the vehicles, let them kick the tyres and demonstrate that it is more than just a science fiction story, it works and can be used in a very similar manner to the cars they are used to. That is why these new vehicles are so important, it is about putting the technology on the street and taking the first steps towards a viable hydrogen future both in London and nationwide.”

Hyundai says there are no harmful tailpipe emissions, and the ix35 Fuel Cell can travel more than 350 miles in real-world driving conditions before refuelling, which is a quick and easy process similar to refuelling a petrol or diesel vehicle.